Can My Husband Apply For Spousal Benefits If I Continue To Work?

Mar 15 2017 - 11:00am

Hi Larry, My husband is retired age 66 and has not yet applied for SS. I am 64 in May 2017 and am working full time trying to figure out when to retire and max our SS benefits. Can my husband apply for spousal benefit while I continue to work ? We were hoping to let his benefits increase until i retire and collect SS. His FRA benefit is currently $79. per month higher than my FRA if that is a factor. We have received conflicting info from SS. Please advise . Thank you. Becki

Hi Becki,

You must be drawing your retirement benefits in order for your husband to receive spousal benefits. And, if you file for reduced retirement benefits prior to your full retirement age and continue working, the Social Security earnings test may result in full of partial withholding of the benefits that both you and your husband would otherwise receive from your record (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

Since both you and your husband were born prior to January 2 1954, you both still have the potential of filing for spousal benefits at full retirement age without also filing for your own benefits. Only one of you can do that, however, since the other spouse must be drawing their retirement benefits in order for spousal benefits to be payable. You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website in order to determine which filing strategy is best for you and your husband.

Best, Jerry